Why search for a job at a convention? The people who are there are real. People who talk like you do. This old boxer puts it beautifully.
I look at ordinary people in their suits, them with no scars, and I’m different. I don’t fit with them. I’m where everybody’s got scar tissue on their eyes and got noses like saddles. I go to conventions of old fighters like me and I see the scar tissue and all them flat noses and it’s beautiful. Galento, may he rest in peace. Giardello, LaMotta, Carmen Basilio. What a sweetheart Basilio is. They talk like me, like they got rocks in their throats. Beautiful! (Pastrano)
There are three different ways to work a convention to find a new job:
- Pay for yourself to go and work it for all it is worth.
- Go there as an exhibitor (and also find a job)
- Go there on your company’s dime to do research (and also find a job)
All three can be done ethically, and that’s a key. No one is going to want to hire a louse who uses his company’s resources dishonorably to search for a job.
The freewheeling job search you can engage in when you pay for yourself contains elements beyond what is acceptable under the other two. Tomorrow I will start discussing the details of how to find a job at a convention….ethically.
The first thing to do is to find out which conventions are the most important in your industry. That’s easy: ask. Ask your boss and his boss. Call up leaders in the industry and ask which conventions have the most movers and shakers attending. Ask experts in your field where the most dramatic new products are introduced. If anyone asks you why the sudden interest, tell them the truth, “Learning more about our industry and competitors will help me advance my career more quickly.”
Be prepared. Your company may offer to pay your way. If they do, you need to be ethical about the whole process. We’ll deal with that problem in a few days.
Something To Do Today
Make a list of the most important conventions in your field. Find out when and where they will be held. Check to see what an exposition hall pass costs. Quite often it is free to visit the advertisers, but you have to pay to listen to speakers.